Posts Tagged ‘Autism Awareness Day’

Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness Day

LIUB-VERTAt awards shows, on the red carpet everyone is asked “Who are you wearing?” Today, I want to know what color are you wearing? I hope it’s blue. Today, worldwide, we all don blue for Autism Awareness Day. The education and fundraising day, April 2 each year, has, for several years, had international cooperation for the “Light It Up Blue” campaign, where landmarks in cities around the world light blue in the evening. From the Empire State Building to the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, even the International Space Station will be illuminated with blue lighting to mark the day.

Aside from our indigo t-shirts and porch lights, what does this day really mean? Autism Speaks, the advocacy organization out at the helm of the fight, tells us that 1 in 68 kids will develop autism (the figure is 1 in 42 for boys), and that autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. As we are all hyper-focused on insurance right now, it is interesting to note that a family will spend about $60,000 a year on autism-related expenses, and there is no cure at this time. Being “on the spectrum” of autism means very different things for each individual, and there seem to be many factors that come into play when we try to determine how an individual develops autism. The controversial vaccine theory that got so much attention has not really been borne out by science, but we are learning more every day about pre-natal care, genetics, parental age at conception, premature birth, complications in pregnancy, and more. While we are definitely learning more, we haven’t cracked the case yet—which is why it is so important to keep the bright blue spotlight on the cause, advocate for research funding, and—so crucial—support individuals and families dealing with autism.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day

Autism Speaks

Today, April 2, is the second annual World Autism Awareness Day as proclaimed by the united Nations. It is a day to exercise your compassion and advocacy muscles to join the effort to be sure universal human rights are guaranteed to all people. Think of the difficulty of navigating your own life, then think of doing it with a little understood condition that makes connecting with others a supreme challenge, then think of all of that while living in another country where less about autism is understood, tolerated, or accepted. Fear and ostracizing an individual with autism is the reaction in most global societies. Like many differences, the majority finds it easiest to adopt an out of sight, out of mind mentality, so people are institutionalized and hidden away even when their condition would not call for it in an environment with better understanding.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the world’s largest science and advocacy organization for the disorder, and leads the charge, today with national and international events marking the day, and every day. Yoko Ono will unveil a work of art inspired by World Autism Awareness Day on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange, First Ladies from nations around the globe have recorded public service announcement messages that will be aired on CNN all day today, events are happening in city parks and auditoriums around the world, more than 75 communities in the US, Canada, and the UK are broadcasting special programming from Nick Jr to raise awareness and eliminate fear in young and old alike, and landmark public buildings in urban centers in several

Autism Speaks

nations will be lit blue to commemorate the day.

Be part of the day. Be part of the cure. Support the science and support the struggle until the science brings us to the end of this road.

Autism Speaks